November 22, 2016
By Riley McDermid
College degrees are overvalued in America and the job market could benefit from putting more stock in vocational training and skills, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said in an interview in San Francisco this week.
Weiner made his remarks at Recode’s Code Enterprise conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.
“Historically here, there’s been a tremendous amount of weight that’s been given to four-year university degrees and not nearly enough weight in my opinion is given to vocational training facilities and vocational training certifications,” he said.
“We would do much better if we stopped ensuring that everyone had to have a four-year degree to get certain types of jobs and started being open to the fact that there’s a much broader array of talents and skills and perspectives and experiences that people can be successful.”
LinkedIn has been attempting to build tools that might help it close the skill gaps needed to fill each job listed on its jobs site, Weiner said, including buying online learning company Lynda.com last spring. But figuring out how to offer classes and learning videos to job seekers is a different quest than creating a whole degree for people, although it does show a lot of potential, he said.
“We haven’t gone as far as considering a whole degree,” Weiner said in his remarks. “The first step would be providing some kind of certification, and even that would be second order. Right now we want to provide the courses that our members need to acquire the skills that they want and desire to get the jobs that are out there.”